הנצחה באנדרטה ביער לח”י במשמר איילון
שמו של חיים אפלבוים חרוט על לוח באנדרטה ביער לח”י
לבנת זיכרון על שם חיים אפלבוים בהיכל הזיכרון הממלכתי בהר הרצל
האנדרטה בקריית אתא לזכר חללי לח”י משתתפי ההתקפה על בתי המלאכה של הרכבת בחיפה

NAME: Apelboim Chaim

LEHI ALIAS: Elimelech

DATE OF BIRTH: May 12, 1925

DATE FALLEN: May 4, 1947

Chaim was born in Luzsk Russia Mau 12, 1925, to Asher and  Henya and brought to Israel aged three months. He studied at  “Tachkemoni” School Tel-Aviv and was active in the Scouts. Hungry for knowledge and philosophy, he was self taught and had narrative ability. After Etzel he joined  Lehi, prompted by growing British oppression and the degeneration of their promises. He regarded Britain as a foreign regime to be expelled. He was placed in charge of instruction and ideological guidance. He radiated calm, perceived by many as “Olympian Inner Peace”. He regarded himself as   preaching but not practicing, and aspired to participate in real combat.   Chaim participated in many battles: the attack on the Jerusalem CID, Kfar-Vitkin airport, blowing-up  Na’aman bridge. In the  1946 attack on the Haifa Railway workshops  he was second in command. The fighters had completed their mission and withdrew by truck. At the entrance to Kfar-Ata they encountered a British ambush who opened heavy fire. Eleven fighters died, many were injured. Chaim was among the twenty-three fighters  captured there, and imprisoned. At their trial, conducted by the British, they declared they had no intention to participate since they weren’t criminals, and demanded to be treated as Prisoners of War, in line with Geneva Convention codes. To prevent the trial from taking place they defiantly sang in court; they were removed and the trial proceeded. Their sentence was death by hanging. Several weeks later, it was commuted to life-imprisonment. In prison, Chaim studied economics and mathematics. Blessed with literary poetic talent, he recorded the events of the  Workshops Attack and their trial in his book “We Did Not Return to Base”. He smuggled out the handwritten manuscript; it was published  right after the Akko breakout May 4, 1947, but he never had a chance to see it. They encountered a British ambush. In the packed escape car Chaim was hit by a bullet.  “I’m injured”, he  uttered,  and drew his last breath, May 4, 1947. Chaim had married Lehi member Hanna Gelbard on March 12, 1946. Six weeks before the Escape, his daughter Uriella was born.

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